We know this is a very busy time for students, the next 6 weeks is crucial to everyone finishing assignments, and preparing for exams.
We have created a top 10 tips around how to identify, locate, evaluate and effectively use information.
1. Use the right information source for what you are trying to achieve.
Oxford Reference Online contains dictionaries, handbooks and encyclopaedias. Searching this will help you understand the terminology of your subject and think of alternative search terms.
Think about other forms of media that might be useful. For example most things in the arts, social sciences, health and education will have relevant newspaper articles. Newsbank contains current news reports. Newsvault contains historical news items.
Can’t find the right books in the library – try our eBook collections. Ebrary has 66,000 ebooks. You can use the books you need and then save them to your bookshelf once you have created an ebrary account.
2. Search Terms. Think carefully about the words you use to search for your information. Be specific rather than just using broad general terms. It is keywords that you use and this is the most important thing to get right when you search a database.
3. Search Tips. Link keywords using AND, OR, NOT. AND narrows a search, OR widens a search NOT excludes the term.
4. Scope. Target the coverage of your topic to a specific date or geographical region and be consistent with your searches in relation to this.
5. Finding the actual article. The PDF full text of the article will be located within most of our eJournal collections and databases but if the full text isn’t there, search by the title of the journal you need in the library catalogue to check Learning Services’ access to a particular journal.
6. Evaluate the information you find. Is the article relevant? think about how you can use it.
7. Manage your search results using the options available this often includes that you can print, save or email yourself the article.
8. Collect the details for your bibliography and reference list as you find the information. If you are using Harvard referencing there is a guide on the Learning Services web pages.
9. Save your assignments in more than one place and read through your assignments to check spelling, grammar, and referencing before you submit them.
We have created this short guide as a PDF document so if you would like to print and keep, here it is.
or call Learning Services help line 01695 584286